There is another international school to be born in Lisbon,

it is in Alcântara

Feb 14 2023

The Lisboan in the media. Article originally published in Publico Newspaper on 14th February 2023.

Source: Publico, 14/feb/2023

Bárbara Wong
14 February de 2023, 15:10

The project foresees keeping the four buildings of the factory complex and preserving the original facades of the former pasta factory A Napolitana.

Construction work continues near Largo do Calvário, in what used to be the old pasta factory A Napolitana, to make way for another international school. In all, there are 46 schools in the country with authorized international curricula and nine in the process of authorization, according to the Ministry of Education (ME). The Lisboan International School (LIS) is one of them, but the British Principal Martin Harris sees no impediment to your project and classes are to start in September, informs PÚBLICO.

The project foresees keeping the four buildings of the former factory complex and preserving the original facades, but there is room for gardens, a canteen, an amphitheater, a library, science labs, a sports complex and classrooms for all levels, from pre-school to high school. The idea is to start the 2023/2024 school year with one class from each grade, explains Martin Harris, but in the future the school will be able to accommodate 1200 students.

There will also be an underground parking lot and, in agreement with the city hall, guarantees the director, the block – formed by the streets Maria Holstein and Economic Kitchen and Travessa de Teixeira Júnior – will change circulation, so that in the early morning and late afternoon (the time to drop off and pick up the children from school) there will not be too much traffic on the site.

Recently, Artemis Education, a consortium of international schools with only one establishment operating in Qatar, bought another building next to the old factory, considered a representative of early 20th century Portuguese industrial architecture, where it plans to make a multi-purpose space, shows Martin Harris during a visit to the space.

The extra building, which will be ready in 2024, will consist of study and career guidance rooms for students. There will be sports spaces as well as meeting rooms with the neighborhood in mind. “There will be various community classes from dance and fitness to chess and accounting, as well as a café that will be open to the public outside of school hours. The facilities can be rented out for children’s parties and we want to make them available for local groups,” he lists.

Curriculum in English

The lessons will be taught English, and the curricula are based on the British programmes of Cambridge International Education and International Baccalaureate (IB). However, Portuguese will be compulsory until the end of the Middle School, becoming optional at the Senior School. “We must meet the same standards expected of any school in Portugal”, declares Martin Harris, adding that the project awaits the approval of the ME, to which “all the details of the ethos, curriculum and all the planned extra-curricular activities” have been sent.

The Principal is confident that the plans will be approved. Meanwhile, parents interested in this project can visit the LIS offices, where besides the models – the renovation project is the responsibility of architect Frederico Valsassina – it is possible to take a virtual reality glasses tour of the future facilities and talk to the director or one of the future teachers.

The first hires were English native speaking teachers. Martin Harris would like to achieve a “balance between nationalities and experience in the teaching staff to offer a first class education”, he reveals, acknowledging that there is a shortage of teachers, but also of a place to stay. By September, the school should employ approximately 50 people, between teaching and non-teaching staff. With full staffing, the number will rise to 200 employees.

The Principal focuses on the curriculum and explains that the teaching method will be “innovative” because the objective is “to prepare students for a global and international life”. Therefore, besides the academic part, there is a concern with cultural training, without forgetting sustainability, and many school outings are planned, he promises.

The teaching method is based on three principles: belong, own, act, complemented by five key values: kindness, curiosity, connection, resilience and integrity. “The big goal is for students to be happy while learning and to be inspired to be the best version of themselves,” he sums up.

If the teaching staff is international, so are the students, which is why the doors are open to Portuguese students, invites Martin Harris, not forgetting the expat children. The annual tuition will be between 11 thousand euros, for pre-school, to 20 thousand euros, for secondary school. In the future, there will be room for 10 to 12% of students with free education. Classes are to begin on 12th September.

Translated with (free version)

Click here to read the original article in Portuguese.

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